Last Updated on December 4, 2023

Imagine getting out of bed, grabbing your coffee, and watching the sun rise over rolling hills of a vineyard. You walk out to your patio, attached to your private villa, and see hot air balloons gently floating by.

It’s so quiet you might only hear the fluttering of birds.

Can you hear the grapevines waking up with the sun? South Coast Winery Resort and Spa in Temecula, CA is a great place to find out. 

Driving through Temecula during fall 2023, I was welcomed by rows of fully ripened grapes on the vine, waiting to be harvested during the late crush season. My visit occurred during a heat wave and the scent of grapes from the 60-acre vineyard was noticeable.

Though I was eventually meeting up with a group of gals, I spent part of my trip alone, allowing me to have a solo traveler experience. Upon my arrival, I observed a wedding party arriving at the same time and a couple holding hands while strolling through a row of grapevines. Another couple was letting two dogs out of their car, ready to be checked in.

This resort is enticing to everybody from solo travelers to groups, and it’s pet-friendly to boot.

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa Private Villa

View from South Coast Winery Resort and Spa Temecula, CA villa patio.
View from South Coast Winery Resort and Spa Temecula, CA villa patio. Photo by Carla Walsh

After check-in, I drove to my villa where parking was conveniently located next to my accommodations. The villa was attached to a foyer, where another private villa was located. This layout would be ideal for parties and families traveling together.

Inside, the villa included a fireplace, living area, and a bathtub begging me to take a bubble bath. It was too warm outside during my stay, but I have a date with that bathtub for a winter return. 

My immediate neighbor and I were part of a group, but technically, we were solo travelers staying in our own villas. We didn’t even notice one another once we retreated to our respective accommodations. We shared notes the next day about the indulgence of having such a lovely space all to ourselves. 

One of my favorite features of the villa was the placement of the patio with a sitting area providing full view of the string of hot air balloons floating past each morning. Wine country and hot air balloons go together like coffee and croissants. What a great start to your day. 

South Coast Winery Temecula Property

Temecula wine grapes nearing harvest.
Temecula wine grapes nearing harvest. Photo by Carla Walsh

The layout at South Coast grants guests a true vineyard experience. The grounds around the winery are stunning. Though some wineries and resorts can feel formal, this property impresses while inviting guests to relax and enjoy life among the vines.

Wines and Tasting Room  

Wine lovers have come to the right place. A family-owned affair, South Coast Winery Resort and Spa Temecula, CA is a completely in-house operation. Wines made from estate-grown grapes are bottled on-site.

South Coast Winery has been the recipients of awards in regional and national competitions including a 5-time California Winery of the Year winner at the California State Fair Wine Competition.

The tasting room is open from 11 AM to 6 PM Sunday through Thursday and 11 AM to 8 PM Friday and Saturday. It is conveniently located next to the retail store. This is an opportunity to taste their award-winning wines with the guidance of their knowledgeable wine stewards.

Sustainability

In addition to having delicious wines, sustainability is of utmost importance to the operation. The California Sustainable Wine Growing Alliance (CSWA) continually certifies South Coast Winery as sustainable through its practices.

Having complete control from farming to bottling, enables the winery to produce award-winning wines while achieving its goal of environmental stewardship. I love that!

Vineyard Rose Restaurant

South Coast Winery’s signature restaurant, the Vineyard Rose, offers contemporary California cuisine with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, and a stunning wine country view. With a vaulted ceiling and rich colors, it’s another South Coast example of elegant meets comfortable and welcoming. 

For dinner, I enjoyed Scottish Salmon with Mediterranean Couscous salad, olives, preserved lemon, currants, and a Harissa Vinaigrette. (Harissa vinaigrette is typically a spicy and sweet combination). Vineyard Rose also provides an in-room menu should you choose to dine in.

Grapeseed Spa and Pool

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa Temecula, CA.
South Coast Winery Resort and Spa Temecula, CA. Photo courtesy of South Coast

The Grapeseed Spa has a full menu of body and wellness services. They offer vine-based spa treatments and seasonal specials with a myriad of choices.

I imagine wedding parties, couples, or anyone who wants to pamper themselves can find something they love. The gorgeous outdoor heated saltwater pool offers plenty of lounging and umbrellas, with cabanas available for rent. 

Dog-Friendly 

It wouldn’t be like me if I didn’t check into the pet policy. My usual travel partners are my husband and our dog, with many wine trail miles behind us. If only we got some kind of travel points for that!  

The Happy Hound program is available for visiting dogs including a “sWag” bag, and plenty of relief stations and roaming opportunities. The fee is $150 per pet, per stay (not per night) and non-refundable. This covers the deep cleaning process upon your departure. 

On-Site Taxi

Since the property is spread out and you’re able to park next to your villa, I appreciated the golf-cart taxi service. The lobby was a meeting place for our group and probably is for most groups traveling together. It was convenient to leave my car and have the golf cart pick us up and drop us back to our villas when we needed them to. Especially after wine tasting!

One call to the front desk and you’re on your way

Nearby Temecula Attractions

Wine Tours

If you’d like venturing out to other wineries, you’re in luck because the resort is in the heart of Temecula wine country and therefore a great home base. You can grab a wine country map and navigate the wineries yourself or enjoy one of the wine tour operators in the area.

Our group of ladies had a wonderful experience with Grapeline Tours. They’ll pick you up where you’re staying and drive you to the wineries, giving you fun and informative details about the area throughout the day. It’s an excellent way to enjoy the region without worrying about navigating, parking, and yes, driving after you’ve enjoyed a full day of tasting. 

Tours run from $129 per person. Tour times and prices are determined by day and selected excursions.

Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding Through the Vineyards in Temecula, California.
Horseback Riding Through the Vineyards in Temecula, California.

For those of us who love horseback riding, Temecula is a beautiful area to ride.

CRC Trails takes you on a scenic tour through the vineyards and to a hilltop site to enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the valley.

I love to go horseback riding when I travel and a trail ride through the vineyards on a cool morning was a new experience for me. Our trail leaders were fun to ride with and knew their horses’ personalities inside and out. They snapped plenty of photos of our group so we could just concentrate on our ride and not be bothered with our phones or cameras.

No matter the experience level, they were patient with our group of riders, helping us while providing a really fun adventure. 

Weekday Trail Rides: $110 per person (adult 18 years +) 90-minute guided tour

Weekend Trail Rides: $125 per person (adult 18 years +) 90-minute guided tour

Little Buckaroo’s Trail Ride: $100 per person (child 7-13 years) 90-minute guided tour

Wild One’s Trail Ride: $115 per person (child 14-17 years) 90-minute guided tour

Old Town Temecula

Old Town Temecula, established in 1859, looks like a Western movie set outfitted with antique stores, specialty shops, and cool dining options.

With original elements like wooden walkways and hitching posts intact, it’s like stepping back in time. Thankfully you get to experience the scene along with modern restaurants, bars, and boutique shopping as well.

Not-to-be-Missed Old Town Stops

EAT Marketplace

A visit to E.A.T. Marketplace is a great place to grab a bite made with locally sourced, sustainable, fresh food. Our group loved this place. I started my day with a delicious matcha latte and some amazing vegan donuts. No, that’s not an oxymoron. They’re delicious!

Old Town Spice & Tea Merchants

My travel mates and I thoroughly enjoyed a visit to the wonderful Old Town Spice & Tea Merchants. This beautiful spice shop smells divine the moment you walk through the door. You can find everything from traditional spices to specialty blends, made in-house. This is a tea and spice lover’s dream. 

Temecula Olive Oil Company

In the land of tastings, add olive oil to your list. Another family-owned local business to visit is the Temecula Olive Oil Company.

Made only with California-grown olives, the Temecula Olive Oil Company creates delicious oils and vinegar with a variety of flavors. A tasting gives you a chance to try these delicious creations for yourself. Anyone who loves to cook will love the variety. 

Getting to Temecula

Closest Airports:

  • Ontario Airport is about a 55-mile drive to Temecula
  • San Diego Airport is about 60 miles to Temecula
  • John Wayne Airport (Orange County) is about 68 miles to Temecula

Whether in need of a weekend getaway or looking for a Southern California wine country venue for a wedding or gathering, South Coast Winery Resort and Spa in Temecula, CA checks all the boxes.

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